Jomon, (lit. 'rope pattern') Ceramics are among the oldest artifacts extant today. There are many examples with impressed rope-patterns, hence the name. Jomon Pottery was low-fired, and could be used for cooking over direct flame. In time, the cooking vessels would fail, so every now and then, some unlucky people would at once spill their soup, put out their fire, and lose their cooking vessel! Aah, so, DOH! (Note from Tom: real Simpsons fans will know it's actually spelled D'OH! Don't ask me why.)
Of course when the discipline of metallurgy was introduced from the Asian Continent, bronze and later iron cooking vessels eventually supplanted the inferior pottery.
Most extant Jomon cooking vessels are reconstructed from shards, and their bases have been blackened by soot from the cooking fires. They were typically tall, narrow vessels similar in shape to the Greek Amphora. Their pointed bases were stuck directly into the bed of coals.
There are also Jomon sculptures. There is no recorded history from the Jomon Period, so one can only guess at their meanings, but I saw one sculpture in the Tokyo National Museum. It was the quintessential "monster in the closet"! Anyone who has ever been camping and has heard a twig break just far enough from the campfire that the source of the sound cannot be seen, that critter is what you hoped it was not!
Somebody made a small conch shell sculpture in the Jomon Period, which was the inspiration for many I have made. It's perfectly useless, just a "dustable", but it's beautiful.
Both pieces I mentioned are property of the Tokyo National Museum, and I encourage all who visit Japan to set aside a couple of days to visit both the Tokyo, and the Kyoto National Museums to see Jomon Pottery.